Seventeen leading hotels in the Middle East have been honoured at this year’s Depa Middle East Hotel Awards, which took place at an “Oscars” style gala ceremony at the Semiramis Inter-Continental Hotel in Cairo on 18th April attended by over 250 senior hotel industry professionals.
The awards, sponsored by international hotel interior contractors Depa Hotel Interiors, were presented in sixteen categories, with the accolade of Outstanding Hotel of the Year going to the Ritz-Carlton Dubai. The hotel also won awards in the best leisure hotel and best standard hotel room categories.
Other major awards went to Le Royal Meridien Bahrain (best design project), Emirates Towers Hotel Dubai (best business hotel and best executive floor), Ritz-Carlton Doha (best new hotel and best hotel employer), JW Marriott Dubai (best conference hotel), Le Meridien Dubai (best environmentally-friendly hotel and best PR campaign) and Inter-Continental Al Ain (best restaurant innovation).
Regional winners meanwhile included Six Continents Hotels for best advertising campaign and Ritz-Carlton for best group hotel employer, whilst Ricco De Blank, general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Sharm El Sheikh, was named Hotelier of the Year. The award for best floating hotel went to the Nile cruiser M/S Grand Princess.
The awards attracted over 110 individual entries from forty luxury hotels across the Middle East, and were judged by an international panel of hoteliers, designers and consultants comprising: Stephen Head (formerly Lausanne Hospitality Consulting, Switzerland); Mohamed Buzizi (Bahrain Hotels Company, Manama); Stuart Scher (Taylor Nelson Sofres Hospitality & Leisure, London); Russell Kett (HVS International, London); Daniel During (Thomas Klein International, Dubai); Tarek Mansour (PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cairo); Denis Johnson (Six Continents Hotels, Cairo); Samir Daqqaq (Marriott International, Dubai); Jean-Paul Herzog (Hilton International, Cairo); and Tony Chi (Tony Chi & Associates, New York). PricewaterhouseCoopers also acted as adjudicators.
The Depa Middle East Hotel Awards were launched in 2001 in Dubai, and are now recognised as one of the leading events in the international hotel industry calendar.
Commented Mohannad Sweid, the Dubai-based CEO of Depa Hotel Interiors: “The Middle East is acknowledged as possessing some of the best hotels in the world in terms of facilities, customer service and creativity, and we are proud to be associated with these awards, which aim to recognise the success of the hotel industry in this vibrant region. The quality of the entries in this year’s awards highlights the prominent position that the Middle East holds in the international hospitality industry.”